Board of Trustees
Meet our Board of Trustees for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew who are responsible for agreeing the strategy of the organisation through the corporate plan and the budgets.
Dame Amelia Fawcett (Chair)
Dame Amelia Fawcett is Chair of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
She has over 30 years of experience in the banking industry and has been Chair of Kinnevik AB since 2018, Chair of the Standards Board for Alternative Investments since 2011 and is the Lead Independent Director for State Street Corporation (having been a Non Executive Director since 2006). She also joined the Wellcome Trust as a Member of the Board of Governors in 2019. She is owner of Chilcott & Company Ltd, a lavender farm which she founded in Wales in 2014. She has been Chairman of the Prince of Wales Foundation (US) since 2017.
Nick is currently Group Corporate Affairs Director of Centrica plc. Before this, he had a long and varied career in Government. His roles included CEO of UK Trade and Investment, Director General in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office leading its work on Europe, the global economy and consular issues and the British Ambassador to Turkey from 2006 to 2009. Earlier in his career, Nick was Director for Immigration Policy in the Home Office, and held posts in the UK and overseas on European Union issues and the Middle East. He was a member of the Board of the FCO from 2009-2013, and of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills from 2011-2013. He is a non-executive Director of Nordanglia Education Inc, a member of the Advisory Council of the Sheffield University School of Management, and was on the Cole Commission which provided advice on exports to the Labour Party.
Judith Batchelar is Director of Corporate Responsibility and Public Affairs at J Sainsbury plc, where she has worked since 2004. She previously worked for Safeway, Marks and Spencer, Mars Confectionary and Bass plc. Judith is also a Non-Executive Board Member of the Environment Agency, Chair of the Innovation Working Group for the Food and Drink Sector Council and an Ambassador for the Woodland Trust. Judith was appointed OBE in 2015 for services to farming and the food industry.
Professor Liam Dolan
Professor Liam Dolan is from Dublin and graduated with a degree in Botany at University College Dublin. He carried out PhD research on plant developmental genetics at the University of Pennsylvania. He then spent 3 years as a post-doctoral researcher at the John Innes Centre, Norwich before becoming an independent project leader. After 13 years running his own group in Norwich, Liam moved to the University of Oxford as the Sherardian Professor of Botany in 2009 and is now Head of the Department of Plant Sciences. Liam was awarded the President's Medal of the Society of Experimental Biology in 2001, was elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) in 2009 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014.
A qualified Chartered Accountant, Catherine worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers from 1988 to 2002, latterly as an audit partner based in Johannesburg. Since 2004 she has pursued a non-executive career. Catherine is currently a Trustee of WWF UK, a Board Member of Natural England and a Non Executive Director at Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. Her previous roles have included Chair of Victim Support, non executive director of North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust and a trustee and Vice-chair of Action for Children.
Sarah is Chair of Riverford Organic and travel company Sawday’s. She is a Non-Executive Director at Inspired Energy plc, the Institute of Physics Publishing and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. She has been a Trustee at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew since 2016 and joined the Kew Foundation Council in September 2020. Alongside her non-executive roles, Sarah is a Consultant Board Advisor on strategy, leadership and digital transformation.
Professor Christopher Gilligan
Professor Gilligan is currently a Director of Research at the University of Cambridge, where he has previously held the posts of Head of the School of Biological Sciences and Professor of Mathematical Biology. He has chaired a number of complex bodies, including the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, the Science Advisory Council for Defra and the UK Tree Health and Plant Security Taskforce. He is also a former Trustee of the Natural History Museum. He was awarded the CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2015 for services to plant health in the field of epidemiology. He continues to lead research programmes in epidemiological modelling to manage disease of staple crops and the natural environment.
Professor Ian Graham
Appointment to take effect from 1 November 2021.
Professor Ian Graham graduated with a degree in Botany and Genetics from The Queen’s University of Belfast in 1986 and a PhD in Plant Molecular Biology from the University of Edinburgh in 1989. Postdoctoral research at the Universities of Oxford and Stanford were followed by faculty positions at the Universities of Glasgow and then York, where he has been based in the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products since 1999 and holds the Weston Chair in Biochemical Genetics. His research interests now focus on plant natural products such as noscapine (anti-cancer), codeine (analgesic), and artemisinin (antimalarial). Ian was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016 and won the Biochemical Society’s 2017 Heatley Medal and Prize for ‘exceptional work in applying advances in biochemistry, and especially for developing practical uses that have created widespread benefits and value for society’.
Krishnan Guru-Murthy presents “Channel 4 News” and “Unreported World” , the foreign affairs documentary series. Before that he was at the BBC on news, entertainment, youth and children’s programming. He has spent thirty years reporting and presenting from around Britain and the world. Krishnan is also patron of the charity Duchenne UK, which raises money for medical research. He lives in Kew with his wife Lisa and their two children.
Professor Sue Hartley
Professor Sue Hartley studied biochemistry at the University of Oxford before moving to the University of York for her PhD on plant defences against insect herbivores, and then the University of Sussex where her research included projects on the factors maintaining the extraordinary biodiversity of tropical forests and the impact of climate change on plant resistance to herbivores. In 2009, she delivered the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, becoming only the fourth woman to do since they began in 1825. In 2010, she moved back to the University of York to become Director of the York Environmental Sustainability Institute, a pioneering interdisciplinary research partnership generating solutions to global environmental challenges. Sue served as President of the British Ecological Society from 2015-2017 and in 2018 she was appointed to the Board of Natural England. In January 2020, Sue joined the University of Sheffield as Vice-President for Research.
Sir Paul Nurse
Sir Paul Nurse is a geneticist and cell biologist whose discoveries have helped to explain how the cell controls its cycle of growth and division. He is currently Chief Executive and Director of the Francis Crick Institute, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Board Member. He was previously President of Rockefeller University New York, and was President of the Royal Society. Paul received a knighthood in 1999, the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2001, the Legion d’Honneur from France in 2002, and the Order of the Rising Sun from Japan in 2018.
David Richardson grew up in Northern Ireland and is currently Director of Horticulture at Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) which has a global historic estate which spans over 150 countries and is one of the world’s largest gardening organisations. He has worked predominantly within the horticultural discipline for the CWGC for over 30 years, in all its major geographies and has recently led initiatives on performance management and chemical reduction. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Charted Institute of Horticulture, has served on the Institute’s Council and is a Liveryman of Worshipful Company of Gardeners.
Jantiene Klein Roseboom van der Veer
Jantiene has a portfolio career consisting of executive and non-executive directorships in the private, public and third sector. She has degrees in business administration and landscape architecture and is an alumnus of Harvard Business School and London Business School. She has held senior executive positions with global responsibilities for marketing, corporate strategy, M&A, finance and capital markets in major companies, and was a partner of a leading capital markets advisory firm. She has served on the boards of a number of professional associations. She is MD of a landscape architectural practice which has a strong focus on the interdisciplinary fields of heritage, conservation and habitat restoration. In addition to Kew, her current non-executive appointments include Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Henri Moerel Foundation, member of the Board of Trustees of the Yehudi Menuhin Competition Trust and Trustee of Bury Court Opera, reflecting her interests in safeguarding nature and humanity’s future through science-driven global action, the arts and music, education, and empowering a younger generation. Jantiene is the first ever international Trustee of Kew and sits on the Corporate Strategy Committee, Science Advisory Committee, and Audit and Risk Committee.
New trustee posts
To complement its existing skills and knowledge, the Board of Trustees is seeking up to four new members with demonstrable experience in either:
- A scientific field relevant to RBG Kew's work
- Government or public sector
- Commercial & marketing.
About the Board of Trustees
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is an executive non-departmental public body created under the National Heritage Act 1983 and sponsored by Defra. RBG Kew operates under a Board of Trustees and came into existence on 8 August 1983. From 1 April 1984 responsibility for many aspects of the organisation was transferred from the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (now Defra) to the Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, comprises a chair and 11 members. Ten members and the chair are appointed by the Secretary of State. Her Majesty the Queen appoints her own trustee on the recommendation of the Secretary of State.
Trustees do not receive any direct remuneration for their services, although reasonable travel and subsistence expenses can be reimbursed.
Minutes of meetings